Club Background

Sandwiched between the historical football giants that have been Newcastle United and Sunderland, Gateshead has always struggled, both on the pitch and off it financially, to sustain a football club. The club we see today is its third incarnation.

A club of that name first came into being in 1930 on the back of another’s financial adversity. Although finishing 7th in that 1929-30 Division Three North season, South Shields, who’d been members of the Football League since 1919, were on the verge of going bust so the decision was taken to move the whole outfit to Gateshead and change its name accordingly. Gateshead AFC inherited the Division Three North status; and there they stayed, although only having to resort to re-election once (1937), until the end of regionalisation in 1958.

Their best F.A. Cup run was 1952-53 when, defeating Liverpool on the way in Round Three, they reached the Quarter-Finals before going out to Bolton Wanderers.

Placed into Division Four after missing the cut by a single point, they only lasted two seasons. Although finishing 22nd in 1959-60, with Oldham Athletic (5 points) and Hartlepools United (6 points) behind them, Gateshead only polled 18 re-election votes, easily outstripped by applicants Peterborough United on 35 which thus replaced them in the Football League. Naturally somewhat aggrieved, Gateshead actually applied to move to the Scottish Football League – which was completely uninterested. Instead, the only home they could find to take them was the Northern Counties League.

After two seasons there The Heed moved to the North Regional League, and then in 1968 became founder members of the newly created Northern Premier League. Through this period they kept re-applying to recover their Football League status; but if hoping for a sympathy vote didn’t find one, with a best showing of four votes, before finally giving up after polling one vote in 1966. They only lasted two seasons in the NPL, finishing bottom in 1969-70 and ending up in the Midland League. Bizarrely, from this lowly station an application for election back into the Football League was made in 1971. Perhaps it was a last desperate cry for help; or maybe a final sticking of two fingers up to the system they felt had betrayed them back in 1960. They got nil votes. In 1972 they moved from Redheugh Park to what was originally called Gateshead Youth Stadium and is now known as Gateshead International Stadium. In 1973 the club folded.

Initially a phoenix club, Gateshead Town, was launched, beginning life in the Northern Combination League. Yet something much more extraordinary was to happen: Groundhog Day. After the original South Shields had moved to Gateshead in 1930 a new South Shields club had formed in 1936. Nearly forty years later it was a moderately well-established club in the Northern Premier League, generally finishing in the top half of the table. However, already in some financial straits, it then managed to massively mess up its ground ownership. Having sold its Simonside Hall stadium before signing the deal to move back to its earlier ground, Horsley Hill, when these plans collapsed the club found itself homeless. So South Shields (II) moved to Gateshead and changed its name to Gateshead United in 1974.

Another attempt was made to join the Scottish League, and again rejected, so Gateshead United carried on playing in South Shield’s NPL place. However this club only lasted three seasons, 1974-77, before it too folded… to re-emerge in yet another new guise as Gateshead F.C. Somewhat surprisingly it was allowed to retain United’s NPL place rather than have to re-start further down the pyramid.

After a few seasons of struggle in the lower reaches this third incarnation of The Heed were Champions of the NPL in 1982-83. Promoted to the Alliance Premier League (a.k.a. Gola League) they lasted just two seasons, relegated along with Yeovil Town at the end of 1984-85. Unlike the Glovers, who took three campaigns to get back up, the Heed bounced back at the first time of asking to what had been renamed the Conference … only to be immediately relegated again in 1986-87.

Three seasons later in 1990 Gateshead was promoted again, after finishing second to Colne Dynamoes by a massive 26 points. (Colne Dynamoes were the Rushden & Diamonds of their day, a millionaire’s vanity project which had swiftly risen five divisions. However, 1990 also saw their end. Denied the promotion to the Conference on ground grading issues owner Graham White took his ball home – there were some allegations the money had begun to run out anyway –  and folded the club during pre-season.) This time Gateshead’s stay lasted eight seasons with a best finish of 5th before relegation struck again.

The first couple of seasons back in the NPL (1998-2000) were quite healthy with a 5th and then 3rd place finish. Off the pitch, however, things were getting rather unhealthy when long-time sponsor Cameron Hall Developments ended its association with the club. As the financial situation got rockier, in 2003-04 the club slid into Northern League Division One. Although only finishing (not helped by a four point deduction) 6th the following season one of the periodic restructurings of Non-League football saw them moved back into the Northern League Premier.

In 2006 Graham Wood, a self-made millionaire in the boiler making industry and former vice-chairman at Sunderland, took the club over and began to stabilise the finances; and with the appointment of Ian Bogie as manager things were also looking up on the pitch. 2007-08 saw Gateshead in the play-offs, with victories over Eastwood Town (4-0) and Buxton (2-0) taking them up to Conference North. They stormed straight through, finishing second and then defeating Alfreton Town and Telford United in the play-offs.

The Heed only survived their first season back in the top tier of Non-League by the skin of their teeth by a point; and the assistance of Chester City, which were first of all suspended by the Conference and then expelled at an EGM of member clubs on 26th February 2010; and of Salisbury City, which despite finishing 14th was thrown out of Conference at the end of the season and demoted to the Southern League Premier Division for failure to meet the deadline to come out of administration and establish a CVA. Possibly worried by staying up so narrowly Gateshead took the decision to turn full-time for 2010-11.

It was a decision that appeared to be paying off, with Gateshead becoming established in Conference Premier and (as it was renamed) National League Premier, even reaching the play-offs once: 2014, beating Grimsby Town 4-2 on aggregate before losing 2-1 to Cambridge United in the club’s (in any of its incarnations) first ever trip to Wembley.

At the end of the 2014-15 season, in which the Heed had finished 10th, Wood at the age of 71 decided the time was coming to step down so put the club up for sale. It was bought by husband and wife Richard and Julie Bennett. In the event Wood remained on the board for a while to smooth the transition, first still as Chairman, then as Director of Football, finally in 2016 stepping down from the board completely for the honorary titles of Club President and Ambassador. He calculated his time at Gateshead had cost him around £3.5 million. While one is very cynical about football club owners and their inflated claims as to how much they’ve spent – more often than not its loans – in this case it might even be true. He certainly oversaw Gateshead rise from a basket case struggling to attract 200 fans when he took over to one averaging around 1,200 at the time of his departure.

Julie Bennett was a fan of the club and her uncle had played for the team but whether the Bennetts had bought it on more than the romantic whim of owning a football club was never particularly clear. Anyway, within two years it was up for sale again. The initial attempted sale collapsed (it later emerged because the bidder had failed the Football Association’s Owners and Directors Test). Enter Dr Rajan Varghese.

Varghese, who claimed to be a Hong Kong based businessman and director of Steel Ships Ltd., supposedly took the club over in the summer of 2018, although didn’t turn up at the International Stadium until late October. He released a series of ten video interviews via You Tube, almost every word of which would all too speedily turn out to be rubbish. After which he only popped up occasionally. Along with his “advisor” Joe Cala, an American businessman with the dubious record of having tried (completely unsuccessfully) to purchase first Portsmouth and then Morecambe, and the very same person who it was suspected had failed that Football Association’s Owners and Directors Test in the previous attempt to buy Gateshead, the pair soon had the club in chaos. Even the usually somnolent National League Board may have smelt a rat (or two), demanding a £200,000 bond to cover the possibility of Gateshead not completing the season. It took only until December for it to emerge that some bills and wages weren’t being paid. The club was placed under a transfer embargo. Manager Steve Watson walked away in January, happy to drop a division rather than stay at Gateshead. Ben Clark, who’d played for Gateshead from 2010-16, accepted the poisoned chalice. Some staff revealed they had been sacked by text without legal due notice. Also in January, Mike Coulson, a director at the club for nearly thirty years, resigned stating: “I left the club because the current incumbents are working to a very different moral compass to the one I have.” He also later put on the record in an interview with the Sunderland Echo that it was his conviction that Cala was the real owner of the club with Varghese as a front man to get around Cala’s ‘Fit & Proper’ failure. The club was evicted from its building space at the International Stadium in March for failure to pay the rent, though the council did allow the team to continue to play at the ground even though the rent for the pitch wasn’t being paid either. The players threatened strike action after wages weren’t paid yet again. With the club also hit with a winding up order Varghese re-emerged to state the club was up for sale for £1, though at almost the same time Cala was giving an up-beat interview about how everything in the garden was rosy and all the exciting plans he (er, shouldn’t that be Varghese as Cala was still sticking to that story on ownership) had for the future. In April Varghese popped up again to say all the debts would be paid and the National League “is convinced about our books”.

Who loves a football stadium with a running track? No one.

Surprisingly, despite star striker Scott Boden being sold to Chesterfield in January and captain Scott Barrow publicly revealing he’d discovered Cala had been touting him around other clubs without discussing any sale with him, Gateshead still managed to finish in the playing table in 9th, though a subsequent 9 point deduction for the misdeeds reduced it to 18th. As the season closed the owner(s) released all the players except one (still hoping no doubt Barrow might have value if they could get more money for him than his wages – if ever paid – up to the end of June when his contract ran out would cost), all the management/coaching team and almost all the off-field staff. As all this was going on the owner(s) were also spinning a line that the club would be off to a new (unspecified) stadium for the next NLP campaign to anyone still listening. Hardly anyone was by this point.

The National League had had enough of the farce. Varghese had probably been right about one thing: by then the National League certainly was convinced about the books, just not in the way he had implied. Gateshead was suspended and refused a licence to play in the 2019-20 season ahead of the AGM that would decide its ultimate fate. Faced with this the Cala-Varghese axis finally caved in and exited the club. With a new six-person consortium in charge headed by Neil Pinkerton and Trevor Clark the club put its case at the AGM. They did manage to escape expulsion from the National League but were demoted to National League North.

The new consortium decided the club should remain full-time. Ex-Newcastle United Mike Williamson was recruited as player-manager and a number of the players previously released were retrieved as were some former members of staff. Given what had gone on the previous season it was quite an achievement for the Heed to be sat in 8th when the campaign was halted in March because of the pandemic. PPG calculations moved them up to 7th and into the play-offs. When finally played in July Gateshead beat Brackley Town on penalties after a 1-1 draw but went out to Boston United 5-3 at the semi-final stage.

Gateshead was in 10th place in 2020-21 – which might have been seen by the fans as a little disappointing – but didn’t mean a lot in a chaotic campaign where the number of games played by clubs ranged between 11 and 18 when the National League North season was halted and subsequently expunged.

Rather unfancied in 2021-23 at 20/1 before the season kicked off the Heed were Champions by a pretty comfortable seven points by the end. A certain Macauley Langstaff contributed 28 and Cedwyn Scott another 24 of their 99 league goals in the campaign. As is the way in football, such feats are always slightly bitter-sweet for the fans of smaller clubs as one knows one is going to lose such players and both Langstaff and Scott moved on to Notts County over the summer.

A level higher, and with fire power considerable reduced, Gateshead have found the going tough in the NLP this season and are in a battle against relegation, not helped by a one point deduction for fielding an ineligible player. However the FA Trophy has been going very well for them. By the time we go to the International Stadium on Tuesday April 4th the Heed will know whether they are at Wembley for the second time in their history after the Semi-Final at home to Barnet on Saturday the 1st.

 


We’ve Met Before

Previous Results for Yeovil Town First Team vs Gateshead

03/09/1983 Home APL D 0-0 1081
07/04/1984 Away APL L 2-4 254 Doherty(2)
02/03/1985 Away GOLA D 1-1 373 James
16/03/1985 Home GOLA L 0-4 1384
09/09/1990 Away CONF D 1-1 634 Spencer 39
20/04/1991 Home CONF W 4-1 2797 Carroll 7, McDermott 13, Batty 41, Wilson 79
31//08/1991 Home CONF W 1-0 2222 Pritchard
11/04/1992 Away CONF L 0-1 344
19/09/1992 Home CONF L 1-3 1808 Nevin
01/05/1993 Away CONF L 1-4 379 Wilson
30/10/1993 Home CONF L 0-2 2787
05/02/1994 Away CONF L 1-2 552 Spencer
03/09/1994 Away CONF W 3-0 2734* Coates 28, Wilson 32, McClelland 79
25/04/1995 Home CONF D 1-1 1315 Evans 87
29/11/1997 Away CONF W 3-0 724 Patmore(2), Archer
02/05/1998 Home CONF W 6-3 2567 Patmore 9, 25, 45, Pickard 10, Archer 15, Stott 31
12/11/2022 Home NLP W 3-1 2405 Fisher 30, 51, Linton 90+3
11/02/2023 Away NLP L 0-4 959
04/11/2023 Home FAC1 W 3-2 3241 Murphy 3, 63, Stevens 26

(* At St James’ Park, Newcastle)

Results Summary For Yeovil Town First Team vs Gateshead

Home Away Overall
W D L F A W D L F A W D L F A
5 2 3 19 17 2 2 5 12 17 7 4 8 31 34

Club Statistics

RECENT RESULTS

14/02/2023 Oldham Athletic Away NLP D 2-2 5845 Conteh 81, Richardson 83
18/02/2023 Southend United Away NLP L 0-1 6765
21/02/2023 Oldham Athletic Home NLP W 2-1 1118 Hogan 8 (o.g.), Dinanga 79
25/02/2023 Maidstone United Away NLP D 1-1 2070 Fowler 18 (o.g.)
04/03/2023 Chesterfield Home NLP L 1-2 1779 Grimes 5 (o.g.)
07/03/2023 FC Halifax Town Home NLP D 0-0 810
11/03/2023 Farsley Celtic Home FAT6R W 0-0 1119 (4-2 on penalties)
18/03/2012 Torquay United Home NLP D 1-1 1024 Dinanga 48
25/03/2023 Aldershot Town Away NLP W 3-2 1939 Campbell 19, Dinanga 48, 57
28/03/2023 Dagenham & Redbridge  Home NLP W 3-0 702 Storey 26, 35, Olley 67
01/04/2023 Barnet Home FAT S-F W 3-3 Campbell 4 (pen), Storey 25, Olley 37 (4-1 on penalties)
04/04/2023 Yeovil Town Home NLP

LEAGUE ATTENDANCE STATISTICS

Highest League Attendance: 2,023 v York City, 02/01/2023
Lowest League Attendance: 702 v Dagenham & Redbridge, 28/03/2023
Average League Attendance: 1,222

CURRENT LEAGUE SEQUENCE STATISTICS

Games Without A Win: 0 Games Without A Home Win: 0
Games Without An Away Win: 0 Games Without Defeat: 4
Games Without A Home Defeat: 3 Games Without An Away Defeat: 2
Games Without A Draw: 2 Games Without A Score Draw: 2
Games Without A No-Score Draw: 3 Games Without Scoring: 0
Games Without Conceding: 1 Home Results Sequence: WLDDW
Away Results Sequence: WDLDW Overall Results Sequence: WDLWDLDDWW

 


Club Information

Address : Gateshead International Stadium, Neilson Road, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear, NE10 0EF.
(for map click here)

Telephone Number : 0191 477 1983
Email : info@gateshead-fc.com

Chairman : Neil Pinkerton
Ground Safety Officer : John Kerr
Club Secretary :
Media Manager : Jack McGraghan
Team Manager : Mike Williamson

Capacity : 11,800
Seated : 11,800
Covered Terrace : none
Record Attendance : (in earlier incarnation while at Redheugh Park 20,752 v Lincoln City, 25/09/1937); as present club at International Stadium 8,202 v Grimsby Town, Conference National Semi-Final Play-off Second Leg, 04/05/2014.

Colours : (For those ancient enough to recall the 1960s/70s do-it-yourself tie dying craze The Heed seem to be revisiting it in their) grey & white shirt. Shorts black, socks white.
Nickname : The Heed
Programme :

Ticketing

The fixture computer (if the National League uses one) in its wisdom scheduled this fixture for a FA Trophy R5 Saturday, hence the massive mid-week journey after Gateshead progressed further in that competition. The International Stadium is segregated for NLP matches. The host club chops and changes where away fans are situated for reasons I can’t really discern. One might assume the logic would be based on Saturday versus mid-week and/or the followings of bigger clubs. However it all seems a bit random who gets what. Anyway, we are in the Tyne & Wear North Stand, turnstiles 1 & 2. This has a capacity of 3,227 and will be partitioned between both sets of fans –  it’ll be enough! Gates open from 6.30 p.m.

The (uncovered) seating at the ends of the stadium isn’t used for Gateshead’s matches.

Tickets can be purchased in advance via the Gateshead on-line ticket portal. Have found no indication there is any surcharge if walk-up purchase on the night is preferred.

Prices:

Adult: £18.00
Concession (65+, Blue Light workers, Armed Forces serving and retired): £12.00
Young Adult (17-21): £8.00
Youth (15-16): £5.00
Child (under 16 and accompanied by full price paying adult): FREE
Carer (accompanying full paying spectator eligible for assistance): FREE


Official Away Travel

The Green & White Supporters’ Club is running away travel to Gateshead on 4th April 2023, 7.45 p.m. kick-off.

Details are as follows:

Members: Adult £42; Concession £40
Non-Members: Adult £45; Concession £43
Coach departs Huish Park:  10.00 a.m.

To book, call Paul Hadlow on 07736 044570 (after 6.00 p.m. please) or email him on paulhadlow@outlook.com.

If you are getting in touch by email, please make it clear which match you are booking for and that you give your full name, the names of people that are travelling and a contact telephone number.

You may be asked to pay a £5 deposit to reserve your seat.


Directions To The Ground

General

The Borough of Gateshead, roughly 200,000 population, lies along the south bank of the River Tyne opposite the larger Newcastle (around 300,000) along the north bank. Historically in the County of Durham (the boundary between that and Northumberland was the river) since 1974 they’ve both found themselves in the Metropolitan County of Tyne & Wear.

By Road

Everywhere we go: always remembered.

Give or take a few miles depending on exact route chosen Huish Park/Gateshead International Stadium is a round trip of 700 miles – and mid-week, EEK!

Get on the M5 up to Junction 4A. Switch to M42 across to M1, joining at Junction 23A. Leave M1 at Junction 32 on to the M18. Exit M18 at Junction 2 for the A1(M).which will take you all the way to Gateshead/Newcastle. However, NOTE: there are some massive roadwork projects currently along stretches of the A1(M) throughout February and March (but could last into early April) involving the complete closure of whole sections of the motorway at various times, so do check what the situation is ahead of the time(s) you may be considering using it. (If the section around Darlington or higher up is closed an alternative route is to drop off at Junction 49 and take the A168/A19/A148 route to Gateshead via Middlesbrough/Stockton-on-Tees.)

Assuming the A1(M) has been negotiated successfully (most closures seem to be scheduled from 8.00 or 9.00 p.m. to 6.00 am.) leave the A1(M) for A194(M) at the Junction 65 complex just north of Washington Services. (Unfortunately if wishing to see the Angel of the North you’ve missed it, as that’s at Junction 66.) Carry straight on through Junctions 1 and 2 of the A194(M) and at White Mare Pool Interchange (which logic suggests should be numbered as Junction 3 but it doesn’t appear to be) take the first exit slip road onto the A184.

Follow the dual carriageway A184 towards Gateshead for around three miles. The International Stadium is off to the right at a set of traffic lights (Neilson Road).

Parking

There are three car parks around the stadium/sports complex, two moderately sized and one very small – probably, looking at Google’s aerial photo, totalling a little over 200 spaces between them. The club website provides absolutely no information about its parking policy that I can find. Looking about for comments from other visiting fans it seems, at least in the fairly recent past, it was on a first-come-first-served basis and free.

If that should fill up then it’s on-street, the area around the stadium being a mixture of housing and business/industrial with the roads of the latter presumably being pretty empty ahead of an evening game. The nearest alternative public carparks are concentrated in more central Gateshead, about a mile away.

By Rail

Obviously, as an evening fixture, if training this one from anything more than a moderate distance one’s committing to an over-night stay. The railway stations closest to the ground are: Heworth (which also doubles as a stop on the Tyne & Wear Metro, see below) on a branch line from Newcastle to Middlesbrough served by Northern Trains, 1.3 miles (25 minutes walk) from the ground; Newcastle Central on the East Coast Mainline, with services to destinations all over the county, which is 2 miles from the stadium.

If staying over and training it out next day CentrAle (Facebook page) on Platform 12 of Newcastle Central station is a convenient venue for those train beers for the journey home.

By Metro

The Tyne & Wear Metro is a light rail transit system running mostly overground and in some sections underground covering about 50 miles with around 60 stops. There are two lines, the Green and the Yellow. Conveniently both run through Gateshead Stadium Station , which is in Zone 1*, and is 10 minutes walk (0.5 of a mile) from the International Stadium. Expect about eight services an hour each way (with up to a dozen at peak times).

Assuming you aren’t going to be around the area long enough to make getting a Pop PAYG card (with does each individual journey cheaper) worthwhile, a One Zone Ticket (price rise from April 1st) will cost £2.60 for an adult Metro single, £4.10 for an adult all day Metro ticket. Prices may be less for various age and other categories. There are ticket machines accepting coins, notes, debit and credit cards and contactless at all stations.

(*Zone 1: Gateshead Stadium is the last stop eastwards south of the river that’s in Zone 1 but most of the stops that would be considered as central Newcastle north of the river are also in Zone 1, including Newcastle Central Railway Station which has its own Metro stop.)

Update 01/04/2023: There is serious disruption on the Metro after 800 metres of overhead power lines came down on Thursday. The section affected is from Gateshead Stadium stop eastwards, both Green and Yellow Lines. The schedule for repairs to be completed is no more specific than “early next week”. Emergency timetables (and bus replacement services for that section) are in place at time of writing.

By Bus

The nearest bus stop to the ground is Neilson Road – Stadium, on the route of the 94 East Gateshead Loop bus. As the name suggests this is a circular service around Gateshead. There are three buses an hour during the day, tailing off to two an hour early evening, then one an hour late evening. It’s actually not much use for getting from Gateshead Interchange in the town centre to the stadium as it only runs anti-clockwise so is a very lengthy journey taking 48 minutes. One could walk it from there in about 20 minutes. If there happens to be a bus at the right time post-match and one is looking to get back into central Gateshead then the single direction is advantageous, taking about 8 minutes.

By Taxi

A selection of Gateshead/Newcastle taxi companies can be found here.


Web Resources

Web Sites

Gateshead FC – Official Site.

Gateshead FC Foundation – the charitable arm of Gateshead FC.

Heed Army Forum – have to register even to read.

Local Press

Given Gateshead FC is only two miles from St James’ Park and ten miles from the Stadium of Light you won’t be surprised to hear the club doesn’t get a lot of coverage from the local press. The Northern Echo covers Newcastle United, Middlesbrough, Sunderland, Hartlepool United and even Darlington but doesn’t seem to bother with them at all. The last genuinely Gateshead locality newspaper folded several decades ago.
The Newcastle Chronicle gives them a very VERY occasional mention, and then usually only when it’s something that also relates to Newcastle United.


Food & Drink

General

There’s only one pub particularly convenient to the stadium, The Schooner (below), through an industrial estate and down by the River Tyne. There are five pubs in the Felling district, around a mile south of the ground – The Old Fox and The Wheat Sheaf (both below) are the stand-out pubs here; and another cluster which just about reaches double figures, including a Spoons and three establishments close by the southern end of the river crossing (selected below), a mile east in central Gateshead. Apart from that it’s get across the River Tyne via the Tyne Bridge or the Metro and drink in Newcastle.

Club Bar

Even if in the Tyne & Wear Stand away supporters are not admitted into its bar, called the Stadium Bar (a lot of thought went in to naming that), according to Gateshead’s website. If in the East Stand there is no service of alcohol at all. Food provision is the usual football ground fare of Pies (in this instance including Balti), Pasties, Burgers, Hot Dogs and Chips.

Local Pubs

By The River Brew – can’t argue with that name.

(SOUTH of the RIVER) Apart from The Schooner (five or six minutes walk) there are no other pubs less than a mile from the ground. However all those except for one featured below in this section are five minutes or fewer from a Metro stop to pick up a service to Gateshead Stadium Station (see By Metro, above).

By The River Brew Co.: Unfortunately NOT open Monday or Tuesday so only of use to those staying over. Brewery & Taproom that’s part of a group of small businesses including street food outlets housed in a container settlement underneath the southern end of the Tyne Bridge. The brewery’s output is mostly keg, with occasional offerings on cask, and that is reflected in the Taproom with twenty keg lines selling its own beers and from other small independent breweries – but particularly Wylam. Cider also stocked. Drinks are served in third and two-third measures not halves and pints. The bulk of the drinking space is outside. 1.4 miles from the ground so catch the Metro from Gateshead Interchange which is ten minutes walk away. Opening hours: noon – 11.00 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday; noon – 9.00 p.m. Sunday.
By The River Brew Co., Hillgate Quays, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear, NE8 2FD. Tel: None. Map: By The River Brew Co..

The Central.

Central: Acquired and restored by The Head of Steam pub group (which is ultimately owned by Camerons Brewery of Hartlepool) over a decade ago. Wedge shaped pub fitted into a triangle between railway lines and the southern end of the Tyne Bridge. Five minutes walk to Gateshead Interchange to pick up the Metro, or 1.2 miles walk (so about 20+ minutes) to the ground. Multi-room (though some can be reserved for functions and thus not always open to the general public) and roof terrace. Hand pumps and keg taps each comfortably stretch into double figures, though expect maybe six to eight cask beers on early in the week reaching up to around a dozen at weekends. The selections on both are dominated by changing beers from small independent producers with a smattering of international brands. Real cider also stocked. Food served from 4.00 p.m. Monday to Wednesday and 12 noon Thursday to Saturday up to 9.00 p.m. Disabled access, family friendly, dartboard in the snug, regular live music, smoking area. Opening hours: 3.00 p.m. – 11.00 p.m. Monday to Wednesday; noon – 11.00 p.m. Thursday; noon – midnight Friday and Saturday; noon – 10.00 p.m. Sunday.
The Central, Half Moon Lane, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear, NE8 2AN. Tel: 0191 4782543. Map: The Central.

Microbus.

Microbus: Suppose there’s going to be one somewhere in the world: a campervan themed micropub – so why shouldn’t it be in Gateshead?! Opened in 2022 in a railway arch directly opposite entrance/exit to High Level Bridge. Ten minutes walk from Newcastle Central railway station via High Level Bridge, five minutes walk from Gateshead Interchange Metro stop, 1.2 miles from the stadium. Stocks 16 changing beers mostly from small independent northern breweries, 6 on cask and 10 on keg. Also carries up to 4 ciders. Opening hours couldn’t be simpler: 12 noon – 11.00 p.m. all week.
Microbus, Arch 2, High Level Parade, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear, NE8 2AJ. Tel: None. Map: Microbus.

Old Fox: About 150 yards from the Metro stop at Felling (which is one stop further along the line after Gateshead Stadium stop) or just under a mile from the ground if walking (15 or so minutes). Old school wet led back street boozer. Five hand pumps stocking changing beers from small independent breweries. Six keg lines from macro producers. Sports TV, external patio to rear. Opening hours: 4.00 p.m. – 11.00 p.m. Monday to Thursday; noon – midnight Friday and Saturday; noon – 11.00 p.m. Sunday.
The Old Fox, 10-14 Carlisle Street, Felling, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear, NE10 0HQ. Tel: 0191 4471980. Map: Old Fox.

Nearest pub to stadium: The Schooner.

Schooner: Freehouse. The closest pub to the stadium – in fact the only pub nearby, a third of a mile (around six minutes walk) away down by the bank of the River Tyne. Serves what’s a pretty typical menu (including options for kids) in mid-range family dining pubs these days but prices are keen – knock off two or three pounds on what might expect to pay in similar pubs for similar fare down South. Service is from noon to 8.00 p.m. except Sunday when it’s 4.00 p.m. Has seven hand pumps, six for beer and one for cider. CAMRA member discount on the cask beers and cider. Focuses on small independent breweries in the North-East and Yorkshire. The keg offerings are sourced more widely, both nationally and internationally. Disabled access, beer garden, parking. There’s disagreement as to when opens. Its own website states 11.00 a.m. but a more recent review says 12 noon. Closes at 11.00 p.m. except if there’s live music on a Friday and Saturday when this may be extended to 1.00 a.m.
The Schooner, South Shore Road, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear, NE8 3AF. Tel: 0191 4777404. Map: Schooner.

Tilley Stone: The Wetherspoon in central Gateshead, exactly one mile (c. 20 minutes walk) from the stadium and a convenient mere 100 yards from Gateshead Interchange if using the Metro. Former retail premises converted to a Spoons in 2011. Disabled access. Opening is 8.00 a.m. – midnight with food served throughout the day.
The Tilley Stone, Units 9 & 10 Jackson Street, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear, NE8 1EE. Tel: 0191 4780060. Map: Tilley Stone.

Wheat Sheaf: Few yards further along Carlisle Street from the Old Fox (above) so also a short stroll from Felling Metro stop and just under a mile from the ground if walking. One of a couple of pubs operated by the oldest (founded 1982) micro-brewery in the North-East, Big Lamp based in Newburn. Obviously mostly stocks their beers. Traditional wet led boozer. Sports TV, beer garden to rear, outdoor toilets. Opening hours: 5.00 p.m. – 11.30 p.m. Monday to Thursday; noon – midnight Friday and Saturday; noon – 11.30 p.m. Sunday.
The Wheat Sheaf, 26 Carlisle Street, Felling, Gateshead, NE10 0HQ. Tel: 0191 8578404. Map: Wheat Sheaf.

Beer Street.

(NORTH of the RIVER) The area from roughly the Queen Elizabeth Bridge, which carries the Metro line across the Tyne, for a mile+ downstream, and stretching northwards for around half a mile or so from the river bank up to St James’ Park, the city centre and the universities, is the entertainment, hospitality and night life district of Newcastle. Here you’ll find pubs, bars, clubs, cafés, restaurants, fast food joints etc. totalling into the hundreds. The Green and/or Yellow lines for Gateshead Stadium Metro Station can be picked up from a number of different stops here, depending exactly where you are when it’s needed (see By Metro, above).

Beer Street: Railway arch micropub and bottle shop that opened 2018. Five handpumps and six keg taps stocking changing beers from small independent breweries. Also one real cider. As with many micropubs opening hours hard to pin down (come across three differing sets for this one). Best guess is 3.00 p.m. – 11.00 p.m. Monday to Thursday, noon – midnight Friday and Saturday, 3.00 p.m. – 10.00 p.m. Sunday.
Beer Street, Arch 10, Forth Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE1 3NZ. Tel: None. Map: Beer Street.

BrewDog.

Bodega: Quite a barn of a traditional wet led boozer. Four screens carrying Sky and BT Sports. Darts. On the walk from the city centre up to St James’ Park should that take your fancy. Eight cask ales sourced quite mostly across the North and Scotland – the excellent Jarl by Fyne Ales is the house regular – but sometimes from wider afield. Been in it but didn’t notice what the keg lines were (which probably means were multinational stuff.) Opens from 11.00 a.m. (except Sunday which is noon), closing 11.00 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, midnight Friday and Saturday.
The Bodega, 125 Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE1 4AG. Tel: 0191 2211552. Map: The Bodega.

Bridge Hotel.

BrewDog: BrewDog and its bars are marmite: people tend to either fanatically rave about or thoroughly dislike them. This one opened in 2012. Hours are 4.00 p.m. – midnight Monday and Tuesday and from noon the rest of the week, closing midnight Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, 1.00 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Food service is from opening to 10.00 p.m.
BrewDog Newcastle, 16 Dean Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE1 1PQ. Tel: 0191 2616586. Map: BrewDog.

Bridge Hotel: Right beside High Level Bridge and with a garden view looking over Castle Keep and remains of the city walls, this is a classic North-East boozer. Food served lunchtimes noon – 3.00 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday. Nine real ales stocked, with Doom Bar the regular and the other eight changing. Sports TV. Opens 11.30 a.m. every day (except Sunday when it’s noon), closing 11.00 p.m. Monday to Thursday, midnight Friday and Saturday, 10.30 p.m. Sunday.
The Bridge Hotel, Castle Square, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE1 1RQ. Tel: 0191 2326400. Map: Bridge Hotel.

Ignore the ‘Newcastle Arms’ on wall – now The Bridge Tavern.

Bridge Tavern: Craft orientated gastropub at the trendy (and thus more expensive) end of the market underneath the Tyne Bridge. Has on-site brewing kit but appears to have given up on that aspect of the business at some point during the pandemic and not resumed it as far as can tell. Food served from opening to 6.00 p.m. Friday to Sunday, 7.00 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, 9.00 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday. Disabled access (ramp on request), roof top terrace. Six hand pumps (not all always in use but generally never less than three) and a load of keg taps sourcing beers from all over the country. Opens from noon every day, closing 11.00 p.m. Sunday, midnight Monday to Thursday and 1.00 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
The Bridge Tavern, 7 Akenside Hill, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE1 3UF. Tel: 0191 2619966. Map: Bridge Tavern.

Centurion: part of Newcastle railway station.

Centurion: Adaptation of the old First Class Waiting Room designed and built in 1893 at Newcastle Central Railway Station. Usually serving four or five ales from small producers and a cider on hand pump; and a selection of around a dozen keg lines, mostly from macro breweries but the odd micro offerings do crop up. Breakfast, lunch and dinner menus (and an attached deli to grab food-to-go for the train) with service from 7.00 a.m. (8.00 a.m. Sunday) – 7.00 p.m. The bar is open for alcohol purchase from 10.00 a.m. and closes 11.00 p.m. Monday to Thursday, midnight Friday, 1.00 a.m. Saturday and 10.30 p.m. Sunday. Sports TV on giant screen, disabled access.
The Centurion Bar & Lounge, Central Station, Neville Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE1 5DG. Tel: 0191 2616611. Map: The Centurion.

Crown Posada.

Crown Posada: Dating back to 1880, been sympathetically restored over the years and on CAMRA list of historically important pub interiors. Wet led, no food. Six hand pumps with a focus on local small independent breweries. Keg taps mostly follow a similar pattern. Seriously large collection of whisky/whiskey. Opens from 11.00 a.m. every day, closing midnight Sunday to Thursday and 2.00 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
Crown Posada, 31 Side, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE1 3JE. Tel: 0191 2321269. Map: Crown Posada.

Head of Steam.

Head of Steam (Quayside): Chopped and changed ownership and names over the years but since 2016 part of Camerons Brewery’s estate of pubs. (Slightly confusingly there are two Head of Steam named pubs in central Newcastle, and both owned by Camerons – but you won’t get into the other by mistake because it doesn’t open on Tuesdays.) This one has eight hand pumps with three usually dispensing Camerons/Leeds Brewery beers, four with guests and one a cider. Numerous keg taps, geared more towards the ‘craft’ end of the market. Quite a wide range of 50 bottled/canned beers of which around half are Belgian. Food served from opening to 9.00 p.m. Hours: from noon every day, closing 11.00 p.m. Monday to Thursday, midnight Friday and Saturday, 10.00 p.m. Sunday.
The Head of Steam Quayside, 11-17 Broad Chare, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE1 3DQ. Tel: 0191 2617385. Map: Head of Steam.

Newcastle Tap.
The Quayside: a Spoons.

Newcastle Tap: Opened 2017 on the ground floor of Baron House right by Newcastle Central railway station and Metro stop. Part of the Pivovar group (you may have come across their outlets before on away trips, in Harrogate and more recently York). Eight cask and sixteen keg lines, all from small independent breweries. Also stocks cider. Menu is Pizza orientated, served from opening up to 9.00 p.m. Hours are from noon every day, closing 10.30 p.m. Sunday to Tuesday, 11.00 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and midnight Friday and Saturday.
Newcastle Tap, Baron House, 4 Neville Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE1 5EN. Tel: 0191 2616636. Map: Newcastle Tap.

Split Chimp.

Quayside: There are three Spoons in Newcastle but this one is the most convenient, down by the river close to High Level Bridge. Opens 8.00 a.m. – 1.00 a.m. every day (children allowed until 9.30 p.m.).
The Quayside, 35-27 The Close, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE1 3RN. Tel: 0191 2111050. Map: The Quayside.

Split Chimp: Newcastle’s first micropub, launched 2015 an a railway arch. Unfortunately doesn’t open Monday or Tuesday so on this trip only of use to those staying over. The website carries a beer list updated regularly. Up to six cask and six keg beers and a couple of ciders. A selection of foreign bottle beers also stocked. The only beer that doesn’t change is Clever Chimp 2 brewed for them by Three Kings. (The house beer used to be Clever Chimp by Errant when I visited, hence the ‘2’ in the new name with the change of supplier.) Large for a micropub, it has a skittle alley. Must admit, hadn’t realised skittle alleys existed up North. Opening hours 2.00 p.m. – 10.00 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 2.00 p.m. – 11.00 p.m. Friday and Saturday, noon – 8.00 p.m. Sunday.
The Split Chimp, Arch 7, Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE1 1SA. Tel: None. Map: Split Chimp.

Split Chimp bar.

Tilleys Bar: Refurnished May 2022. Four hand pumps, usually with one beer from owners Camerons Brewery of Hartlepool and three rotating around even more local breweries. More than a dozen keg lines with a few delivering brands like Guinness, Camden Pale and Hells from multinationals but most reserved for changing beers from independent breweries (including some from Camerons’ own ‘craft’ arm). Huge selection of close to 200 bottled and canned beers with Belgian and American imports predominating. Sports TV, beer garden. Seems to be agreement on the time it opens – noon; less so on when it closes.
Tilleys Bar, 105 Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE1 4AG. Tel: 0191 2320692. Map: Tilleys Bar.

Town Wall.

Town Wall: Pub & Eatery housed within a Grade II listed building just under a hundred yards from Newcastle Central railway station and Metro stop. Food service from noon every day, finishing at 9.00 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 7.00 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 6.00 p.m. Sunday. The house cask offering is Toon Waal (see what they did there) produced for them by Wylam, with the rest of the handpumps focusing on small independents and the keg lines taken up with a mix of macro and micro beers. Although they source nationally there is almost always a number of beers on from Wylam Brewery. And that is a GOOD thing. Disabled access. Opening hours: from noon, to 11.00 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and 1.00 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
The Town Wall, Pink Lane, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE1 5HX. Tel: 0191 2323000. Map: Town Wall.

Brinkburn Brewery & Bar.

(SLIGHTLY FURTHER AFIELD in the CITY) Newcastle has more than ten microbreweries, most of which have Taprooms, and you may be wondering why the lack of those featuring above. The answer is: some would have been, if we were going on a Saturday. But we’re not, and nearly all don’t open before the latter end of the week and some just at weekends. One exception is Brinkburn Street Brewery (below) and, if have the time to take the Metro a few stops out to the Byker district, it and a cluster of other outlets, including the Cumberland Arms, Free Trade Inn and Tyne Bar (all below), come within range. Five more given a mention here are: the Strawberry – if you make a pilgrimage to St James’ Park, it’s right in its shadow; the Old George for those that like preserved old photogenic pub interiors; Trent House, ‘home’ to Viz magazine; Mean-Eyed Cat, micropub about 150 yards from the Trent House; Town Mouse, pretty close by the last two and like them a short walk from the Haymarket Metro stop.

Brinkburn Street Brewery, Bar & Kitchen: In a row of industrial lock-ups – so very archetypal microbrewery. Normally about eight or so beers on – types dependent on what they’ve been brewing – mostly their own but usually including a couple of guests. Food is very much locally sourced ingredients and a mixture of traditional local dishes and ‘American Street Food’ (which seems to be a trendy way of describing what’s basically burgers and pizzas – with the latter being ‘Italian Street Food’ surely?). Food service is from shortly after opening up to 9.00 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 10.00 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 7.00 p.m. Sunday. Bar hours: from 11.00 a.m. up to 11.00 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and until midnight Friday and Saturday.
Brinkburn Street Brewery, Bar & Kitchen, Unit 1B, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE6 1WN. Tel: 0191 3389039. Map: Brinkburn Street Brewery.

Free Trade Inn.

Cumberland Arms: A regular winner of the regional Cider Pub of the Year award in an area of the country not exactly renowned for its ciders, with around a dozen ciders and perries usually on. A constantly changing half a dozen cask and half a dozen keg beers sourced primarily from around the North-East but examples from further afield – some Bristol Beer Factory mid-March – do crop up. Live music and other performances most days of the week. Principally wet led there are occasional food pop-ups. Beer garden and parking. Opening hours 2.00 p.m. – 11.00 p.m. Monday to Thursday, noon – 11.00 p.m. Friday to Sunday.
The Cumberland Arms, James Place Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE6 1LD. Tel: 0191 2656151. Map: Cumberland Arms.

Mean-Eyed Cat.

Free Trade Inn: Has a web page helpfully gathering together all its social media etc links. Less than 100 yards from Tyne Bar (below). Ever changing eight cask and a dozen keg lines, around half a dozen ciders (they’ll do cellar runs for the ones listed that aren’t on the bar) and a wide range of bottled and canned beers. Food limited to sandwiches sourced from a local deli. Free jukebox, beer garden, family friendly. Opening hours a simple 11.00 a.m. – 11.00 p.m. every day.
The Free Trade Inn, 12 St Lawrence Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE6 1AP. Tel: 0191 2655764. Map: Free Trade Inn.

Old George Inn.

Mean-Eyed Cat: Micropub opened 2018 50 yards from Haymarket Metro stop and bus station. Expect to see six cask and seven or eight keg lines sourced from leading independent ‘craft’ breweries nationally. Five or six ciders on too. Opens at noon every day (except Sunday which is at 1.00 p.m.), closing 10.00 p.m. Sunday to Wednesday and 10.30 p.m. Thursday to Saturday.
Mean-Eyed Cat, 1 St Thomas Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE1 4LE. Tel: 0191 2220952. Map Mean-Eyed Cat.

Old George Inn: Claiming to be the oldest pub in Newcastle (which it may be), dating to 1582 (which will be dubious), and claiming royal connections to Charles I (which are most likely garbage), hidden away down an alley in the city centre it’s photogenic inside. Eight hand pulls spread across two bars with Bass the house beer. Sports TV. Outside area in the alley/yard. Food served all day up to 9.00 p.m. Opens from 11.00 a.m. (except Sunday which is noon), closing 11.00 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, 1.00 a.m. Friday, 2.00 a.m. Saturday.
The Old George Inn, Old George Yard, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE1 1EZ. Tel: 0191 2603035. Map: Old George Inn.

The Strawberry, in shadow of St James’ Park.

Strawberry: Adjacent the south-east corner of St James’ Park stadium. Absolutely rammed on match days; but one of those pubs that has it ‘all-under-control’ – no need for plastic ‘glasses’ for example when I was there ahead of a game, even though scarcely room to breath in the place. Obviously a quieter port of call if one’s just wandered up to see the ground and maybe take a few photos when there’s no fixture. Five cask ales and a range of keg lines – not wishing to stereotype, but noticed a LOT of Newcastle Brown being dispensed on that matchday visit. Disabled access, covered inside in Newcastle United memorabilia, Sports TV, pool table, roof terrace, car park. Food served from 11.00 a.m. – 10.30 p.m. Opens from 9.00 a.m., closing 11.00 p.m.
The Strawberry, 7 Strawberry Place, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne ∧ Wear, NE1 4SF. Tel: 0191 2326865. Map: The Strawberry.

Trent House.
Down in a basement: The Town Mouse.

Town Mouse Ale House: Three minutes walk from Haymarket Metro stop, a micropub in a basement that opened 2017. Six cask and eight keg lines constantly changing and sourced from micro-breweries all round the country. A cider also stocked. Tiny outside area and pretty small inside. Opening hours are from 2.00 p.m. Sunday to Friday and 12.00 noon Saturday, closing 10.00 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 11.00 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 9.00 p.m. Sunday.
The Town Mouse Ale House, Basement, 11 St Mary’s Place, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE1 7PG. Tel: None. Map: Town Mouse.

Trent House: At one time possibly the most famous pub in Newcastle – for those that didn’t live in or particularly know the city at any rate – as some of the creators of Viz drank there and it regularly featured itself in the magazine. Years on it still has an excellent jukebox and the pool table upstairs. Sports TV. Happy Hour every night from 8.00 p.m. – 9.00 p.m. with cask beer prices reduced and a discount for CAMRA members the rest of time. Five hand pumps mostly stocked with changing beers from local breweries. Real cider. Keg choices are mainly from the slightly better end of the multinational market. Hours: 11.00 a.m. – 11.30 p.m. every day (except Sunday when it doesn’t open until noon).
The Trent House, 1-2 Leazes Lane, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE1 4QT. Tel: 0191 2612154. Map: Trent House.

The Tyne Bar.

Tyne Bar: Waterside independent Freehouse that’s been running since 1994. Wide changing cask and keg beer range mostly from independent breweries (and always including some Wylam) but also a few multinational offerings. Food served from noon – 7.00 p.m. Monday to Saturday. Outside area by the river, family friendly, free jukebox, frequent live music. Opening hours a simple noon – 11.00 p.m. every day. Less than 100 yards from Free Trade Inn (above).
The Tyne Bar, 1 Maling Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE6 1LP. Tel: 0191 2562550. Map: Tyne Bar.


Likelihood the Natives Will Understand You: A heavy Geordie dialect and accent verges on the incomprehensible. If get engaged in conversation just smile and nod, smile and nod.

Top-Tip: Hard to know why the width of a river can make so much difference. These days Newcastle is a vibrant exciting 21st Century city. Gateshead isn’t any of those things. Spend whatever time you have outside of the match itself in Newcastle.

Local Amenities: Has what used to be, until the opening of Westfield in Shepherd’s Bush, the largest shopping mall in the UK, Metrocentre. At one time Team Valley trading estate was also the largest in the country.

Other Points Of Interest: In his travelogue book, English Journey, of his journeys around the country J.B. Priestley wrote of Gateshead that “no true civilisation could have produced such a town” and that that it appeared to have been “designed by an enemy of the human race”. He was visiting in the 1930s, but it would be fair to say it hasn’t improved a lot since and may have got worse. Paul Gascoigne was born and raised in Gateshead but was far too good to ever consider The Heed, signing schoolboy terms with Newcastle United.

[No responsibility is taken for any inaccuracies. This page is entirely the product of bias and prejudice.]